Gilead (NSDQ:GILD) subsidiary Kite will collaborate with Appia Bio (Culver City, Calif.) to develop engineered allogeneic cell therapies from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) for cancer patients.
To that end, they have entered into a collaboration and license agreement to develop HSC-derived cell therapies for hematological malignancies.
Under the agreement, Appia Bio will lead preclinical and early clinical research of two HSC-derived CAR-iNKT product candidates. Kite will provide engineered chimeric antigen receptors. Kite will provide Appia Bio with an upfront payment, an equity investment and additional milestone payments. In all, the total value of those payments could reach $875 million without including tiered royalties. Kite will develop, manufacture and commercialize the product candidates identified as part of the collaboration.
In the partnership, the two companies will use Appia Bio’s ACUA technology platform for allogeneic cell therapy.
Appia Bio was founded last year and recently received $52 million in Series A financing to support advancing allogeneic CAR-iNKT cell therapy candidates into clinical trials.
Appia uses the biology of lymphocytes to create CAR-iNT cells from HSCs.
Appia says its ACUA platform can potentially boost the efficacy and availability of HSC-derived CAR iNKT-cell therapies.
Gilead acquired Kite Pharma for almost $12 billion in 2017.
Last month, Cellares (South San Francisco, Calif.) and Poseida Therapeutics (San Diego) also announced a collaboration related to cell therapy.